previous
next

§ 169. “To Execute and Maintain the Laws.”

As to the duty of the Federal Government to protect every State against invasion, and, on the application of the Executive Government of the State, against domestic violence, see Notes to sec. 119 (§§ 466-7, infra). (See also Martin v. Mott, 12 Wheat. 19; Luther v. Borden, 7 How. 8. Baker. Annot. Const. p. 53.)

The power which may be conferred under these words is meant to be exercised when some sudden emergency renders it necessary, in order to maintain the public peace. (Luther v. Borden, 7 How. 8.)

An Act of Pennsylvania providing that the officers and men of the militia of that State neglecting or refusing to serve when called into service by the President shall be liable to penalties prescribed by Congress, and providing for trial of such delinquents by State court-martial, &c., is not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States. (Houston v. Moore, 5 Wheat. 1. Baker, Annot. Const. p. 53.)

51. (vii.) Lighthouses170, lightships, beacons, and buoys:

HISTORICAL NOTE.—Earl Grey's Committee of the Privy Council in 1849 suggested “The erection and maintenance of beacons and light-houses” (p. 85, supra); and Wentworth's Constitutional Committee in 1853, and his Memorial in 1857, specified “Beacons and light-houses on the coast.” Sec. 91 of the British North America Act specifies “Beacons, buoys, light-houses” (sub-s. 9.)

In the Commonwealth Bill of 1891 the sub-clause ran:—“Ocean beacons and buoys, and ocean light-houses and light-ships.” These words were adopted by the Adelaide session, 1897. At the Sydney session, a suggestion by the House of Assembly of Tasmania, to omit “ocean” whenever occurring, was supported by Mr. N. J. Brown, on the ground that it would be impossible to define what was, and what was not, an ocean light; that very often what was from one point of view a river beacon or light was, from another point of view, an ocean beacon or light. As against this it was contended that it was desirable to preserve the line of demarcation generally recognized between what should be Federal power and what should be State power; reserving to the Commonwealth control over external and coastal services of this kind, whilst matters capable of internal regulation, such as lights, beacons, and buoys situated in harbours and rivers should remain under the control of the States. This reasoning for the time prevailed, and the word “Ocean” was retained. (Conv. Deb., Syd., 1897, pp. 1067–71.) At the Melbourne session, before the first report, the word “Ocean” was omitted at the suggestion of the Drafting Committee, thus greatly enlarging the jurisdiction of the Federal Parliament, in accordance with the suggestion of the Tasmanian Assembly.

previous
next